Ryan's Journal

"My life amounts to no more than one drop in a limitless ocean. Yet what is any ocean, but a multitude of drops?" — David Mitchell

Living on the Edge

Posted from Volcano, Big Island, Hawaii at 7:28 pm, September 7th, 2022

This post is being written from a location in a rainforest a few miles east of the 1000 foot deep Kilauea crater lava lake. Coqui frogs are chirping (loudly) outside in the fern-covered trees, and we’re hanging out under soft lights in a wooden cottage with a wraparound deck. I did something right in a past life.

When the journal last left off we had returned from our second manta ray dive. The adventures since then couldn’t compare, but it has nevertheless been fun. We took a lounge day to rest up, during which I snorkeled with sea turtles a few times in water with limited visibility, so while they were the most chill turtles I’ve ever been around (one kept moving closer to me as he grazed on algae, until I finally had to get out of his way), the videos don’t do the experience justice. While celebrating with drinks and snacks at sunset we looked out in the water and saw two small (six foot) mantas cruising the shallows, apparently drawn in by plankton that were attracted to the hotel’s lights. Their wingtips kept popping out of the water as they looped around in water that didn’t look deep enough to support such a large fish, obviously enjoying their dinner.

Today we left the Kona area and headed south around the island towards Volcano Village. We were tipped off to an epic snorkel location, so after a visit to the Heavenly Hawaiian coffee plantation we drove down to the coast and jumped in the water, and were almost immediately greeted by a four foot moray who surprisingly swam around, fully visible, for several minutes; they are almost always tucked into crevices with only their heads sticking out, so seeing one out in the water for such a long time was special. The rest of the snorkel was great, too, with lava and coral combining to create an underwater metropolis of fish.

We made a very brief stop at Kilauea on the way here, but had to rush in order to checkin, so we’re returning to hopefully take some nighttime photos of the current eruption, provided there aren’t too many people with the same plan already there.

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